Church of God (Seventh-Day)
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|Background and history|
The General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), or simply CoG7, is a seventh-day Sabbath-keeping Christian denomination. Like the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), the Church of God (Seventh-Day) observes Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Saturday).
Church of God (Seventh Day)
The Church of God (Seventh Day) (no hyphen) represents a line of Sabbath-keeping Christians that rejected the visions and teachings of Ellen G. White before the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1858, five years before the founding of the SDA Church, a group led by Gilbert Cranmer (1814–1903) of Michigan separated from the Adventists who supported White. Another independent Sabbatarian Adventist body formed in Iowa in 1860, and joined with the Church of God (Seventh Day) in 1863.
A publication called The Hope of Israel (now The Bible Advocate) was started in 1863, and this publication extended the influence of the body into other areas. Through this publication, the doctrines of the second advent and seventh-day Sabbath were promoted, and other Christians were invited to gather for meetings. This extended the movement into Missouri, Nebraska and other places, and in 1884 the General Conference of the Church of God was organized. They incorporated in 1899, and "(Seventh Day)" was added to the name in 1923. Offices were established in Stanberry, Missouri.
A well-publicized member of the Church of God (Seventh Day) was evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong (1893–1986). In 1927 Armstrong was challenged by his wife, Loma, to find a Biblical justification for keeping Sunday as the Christian Sabbath day. Loma had come under the influence of Mrs. Runcorn, a member of the Seventh Day church in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Emma Runcorn and her husband Ora were lay leaders in the Oregon conference. Armstrong soon became a minister for that church and a writer for the Bible Advocate journal. Within a few years Armstrong began teaching the British-Israel Theory - the alternative history that regarded the nations of Western Europe and North America as the literal descendants of the "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel - and the mandatory keeping of the Feast Days in Leviticus 23. Armstrong was ultimately disfellowshipped over these two issues, which were not original doctrines of the Church of God.
The undivided conference named "Church of God (Seventh Day)" remained until 1933.
The Church of God (Seventh Day) split in 1933, creating a smaller body headquartered in Salem, West Virginia, and known as the Church of God (7th Day) - Salem Conference, which was then formally organized under the apostolic model. Elder A. N. Dugger was for a time part of the Salem Conference, but was never part of the Church Council of the Twelve as the Church is organized. A number of Church of God (7th Day) are independent or affiliated with groups previously associated with Jerusalem headquarters in Israel. Those churches usually follow a set of 40 points of doctrine.
Dugger and C.O. Dodd (1935) wrote a book attempting to trace the Church's history back to the Apostles through various medieval groups which they believed were Sabbath-keeping. In the case of some of these groups, such as the Waldensians and Paulicians, that claim is disputed.
The Stanberry conference now typically uses the name 'General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), with "Seventh" spelled out and often with a hyphen.
As of 2012, the Church of God (Seventh-Day) has over 200 congregations in the United States and Canada, with an estimated 11,000 members. Worldwide membership in its International Ministerial Congress is over 200,000 members, with affiliated ministries in more than 40 countries. Central offices for the North American conference are in Denver, Colorado as of 2012, with Whaid Rose serving as its president. The church is a member of the Bible Sabbath Association (org. 1943), an organization promoting "fellowship and cooperation between Sabbath-keepers of various groups."
Doctrine and practices
The Church of God (Seventh-Day) Statement of Faith states the following:
- God is revealed in Scripture as Father and Son. From eternity the Son existed with Father and shared His glory (Section 2). This christological belief is a departure from their long held doctrinal beliefs in that regard. The Denver Conference, part of the greatest Church of God (7th Day) movement had an arian christology for much of the twentieth century, before leaving part of his heritage and reverting to a more classical view of Christ 
- Salvation is by God's grace, received by faith in Jesus Christ apart from good works, human merit, or ceremony (Section 4). Obedience to the moral law, while not a means to salvation, is encouraged as an important part of Christian living. Eating of unclean meats such as pork and shellfish is discouraged, as is the observance of Christmas and Easter, due to their pagan roots (Section 10).
- Mankind is mortal, and the soul is unconscious in death (Section 3). The wicked who reject Christ until the end will face the judgment of annihilation, not eternal torment in hellfire (Section 12).
- Two church ordinances are observed—baptism by immersion and an annual Lord's supper service (with washing of feet), observed annually on the day of Jesus's death, Nisan 14 (Section 6).
- 40 Points of Doctrine (article), Mount Zion Church of God (7th day) Winnipeg.
- A history of the True Religion Traced From 33 A.D. to Date, A. Dugger and C.O. Dodd Bible Advocate 1935
- Giorgio Tourn You are my Witnesses: The Waldensians Across Eight Centuries. Torino, Italy: Claudiana Editrice, 1989. ISBN 88-7016-089-0
- Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare "Was the Sabbath observed in the early Armenian church?" p.clxii in The Key of Truth. A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia.
-  Data from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive CD and Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches
- Church of God (Seventh-Day) Statement of Faith
- Questions & Answerx (magazine) (article), Bible Advocate.
- Church of God (Seventh-Day)
- Church of God (Seventh-Day) - UK
- Profile of the Church of God (Seventh-Day) on the Association of Religion Data Archives website
- Iglesia De Dios (7o Dia) A.R. Mexico
- Church of God (Seventh-Day) - Jamaica
- A history of the True Religion Traced From 33 A.D. to Date
- Various information, rare literature and grave sites of the Church of God pioneers and wives
- History of the Seventh Day Church of God by Richard C Nickels
- Church of God (7th Day)
- General Council of the Churches of God, 7th Day
- Meridian Church of God Seventh Day
- Iglesia de Dios en México A. R.
- Congregaciones Unidas de la Iglesia de Dios (7° Día)
- Church of God